Hill of Ash

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The Hill of Ash was the name given to an area which was briefly and temporarily conquered by the Empire of Austenasia on 4 May 2009 during an expedition of the Imperial Geographical Society (IGS).

Lord William claims the Hill of Ash during the 4 May 2009 IGS Expedition.

The IGS launched its first expedition on 4 May 2009, exploring the British countryside to the south of the town of Bletchingley. During the course of the day, the expedition stopped for lunch in a clearing, at the middle of which was a big pile of ash with a large charred log on top, most likely the remains of a large bonfire.

The then Lord William of South Kilttown stood on top of the pile of ash, and claimed the area for Austenasia. While the expedition had lunch in the clearing, it was treated as being under Austenasian sovereignty. However, as the expedition left the clearing the then Crown Prince Jonathan declared as Prime Minister that the Austenasian claim to the territory was relinquished.

Due to the brevity of the time that Austenasian sovereignty was exercised over the Hill of Ash (less than an hour), as well as the impromptu nature of the claim, Hill of Ash was never incorporated into the Empire via legislation.

The Crown Prince later reported on the temporary annexation:

We went through the farm to the foot of a mobile phone mast, then carried on until we got to a clearing with what had once been a very large bonfire in the middle. It was now just a huge pile of ash, and we named the area Hill of Ash. [...] Lord William climbed to the top of the Hill of Ash, and claimed the area for Austenasia. As the clearing had only Austenasians and Austenasian supporters in, I reasoned that we had effectively conquered this piece of land for the Empire, but that it would fall back under British sovereignty the moment that the Expedition left the clearing. We had lunch, then left Hill of Ash, giving it back to the UK.

— HIH Crown Prince Jonathan - Report for the Environmental Office on the South of Bletchingley 4/5/2009 IGS Expedition

On 2 May 2016, a follow-up IGS expedition taking the same route as the one in 2009 passed by Hill of Ash. The landowners had locked the gate which previously provided access to the clearing, meaning that the expedition was not able to stop for lunch there as in 2009 as had been planned. The "hill of ash" itself had either not been removed or had been replaced with remnants of another huge bonfire, as a large pile of ash and debris was seen to be situated in the same place. Nettles growing on top suggest that it had been there a long time, and the size makes it possible that it is the same as that seen in 2009.